In many instances in the past, we saw how Jasmine was slightly closing her left eye when watching the television. Very recently during their school program, she would even close her eyes a bit before she could see us at the bleachers and wave at us. Previously, her teacher also asked us about this condition since they noticed that she needs to go closer to the board just to see what’s written on it.
With all these, I was prompted to schedule an eye check up for her at a nearby clinic, in time while they are on Spring break. True enough, she was diagnosed with having astigmatism.
What is Astigmatism?
Astigmatism is a common refractive error that results from an imperfection in the eye’s curvature. In normal eyes, the cornea (the front part of the eye’s surface) and the lens are smooth and evenly shaped in all directions. With astigmatism, the cornea or lens is irregularly shaped in some areas, causing blurred vision. Astigmatism is not an eye disease; it is simply a variation in the way the eye is shaped. – www.docshop.com
They say that most common symptom of astigmatism is blurred vision at any distance. In Jasmine’s case, we noticed the same habit on several ocassions.
In the same article I’m reading, it is said that “Astigmatism is usually diagnosed during routine eye exams, wherein your ophthalmologist will check your eye’s refraction (ability to properly focus light rays on the retina) and visual acuity using a standard eye chart. The eye’s refraction can be measured in a number of ways; some doctors will simply ask a series of questions about your current vision and conduct a visual acuity test, while others will use a keratometer or keratoscope to assess the curvature of your cornea and determine the presence of moderate or severe astigmatism.”
Contrary to common belief, reading in poor light, squinting, or sitting too close to the television are not causes of astigmatism. Astigmatism is usually present from birth and can either stay the same or worsen over time. Eye injury, disease, or surgery can also be causes of astigmatism.
Being born premature, Jasmine could be more susceptible to this condition since some of parts of her eyes may have not been fully developed. Though we still do not discount the fact that it could have been triggered further by constant exposure to electronic gadgets.
There are a number of options for patients seeking effective astigmatism treatment, from time-tested eyeglasses to the latest in laser technology (LASIK and LASEK).
For Jasmine, it was initially advised to wear eye glasses. Hopefully it will gradually improve her sight with frequent use.
The Negative Effects of Electronics on our Kid’s Eyes
An online article also said that extended or constant exposure to screen time causes digital eye strain that can lead to dryness, runny eyes, or headaches. Another effect is most dangerous, the effect of blue light.
Blue light exposure is a high wavelength of visible blue light. It penetrates to the back of the eye, bypassing our eye’s natural filters. This blue light exposure is causing permanent vision damage and can lead to various eye conditions and diseases… The eyes of our children are still in development making exposure to blue light even more dangerous. – www.visionsource-castlerock.com
Moreover, the effect of electronics to our kids can be easily seen on lack of concentration with studies or even parental instructions, less interaction with other kids, minimal physical activities, as well as influences on languages and values that they can easily absorb from the shows that they are watching.
Now that our little Jasmine will have to wear her eye glasses everyday, we have to make her feel that it’s not a burden nor something she should be ashamed of. We will have to constantly remind her that she needs it so her vision would improve and that we even allowed her to choose the frame color to make her feel that it’s just an added accessories for her. She would even ask us when she’s going to get her eye glasses… she seemed excited!
We were once reminded to also treat other kids with the same condition to further encourage them with positive words rather than highlighting their situation.
We are sharing this so other parents would immediately have their kids checked if they are noticing similar conditions. At the same time, spreading a conscious behavior of encouragement in uplifting the spirit and morale of those under the same situation or even more.
In the end, our hopes (and faith) are high that this early detection and temporary solution (wearing corrective eye glasses), will somehow improve her vision in the future.
Thanks to our friends from THE APOLLO CLINIC (esp to Dr. Murali) and VISION EXPRESS for their kind assistance. We also appreciate the messages we received from friends when we posted it on our instastories. We’re all good, thankful and faithful!